November 05, 2006

Uncommon merganser

NOV. 5, EAGLE BLUFFS, cloudy, 55—For over an hour I worked my spotting scope back and forth over ducks in two ponds at Eagle Bluffs. For a little while, at a distance and in dull light, I thought I had a common merganser, and came dangerously close to a wrong ID because I wanted no. 180.

During my duck scan I saw an osprey, just two weeks after seeing my first of the year. It flew to a high perch in trees between the duck ponds and Missouri River. Before the osprey could settle in, a red-tailed hawk banked in hard and forced it to another tree. Yet the osprey is the bigger bird. Maybe its fish diet is no match for the red meat of the redtail.


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